Morita's New Film
asianfilmlibrary at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 18 19:27:04 EDT 1999
Why is Morita not acknowledged internationally?
Well, Tony Rayns was extremely negative in his "Time Out" Berlin
report, describing it as one of the most "ugly and repellant"
thrillers in recent memory. Personally I loved it, as did most of the
people I discussed it with in Berlin. Derek Elley did give it a great
review in "Variety". When Alan Stanbrook ("The Economist") praised it
in Hong Kong, he was attacked with a "there's no accounting for taste"
comment from someone who hadn't seen the film. And I think herein
lies the problem. Morita has fallen out of favour, so the film was
going to be disliked anyway by the dinner party crowd who like to
control Asian film. They like the image that Morita was once a great
director who went commercial. The two can't coexist.
Did any KineJapan readers catch the official Korean remake of Morita's
"Lost Paradise" starring Shim Hye-Jin? I hear it was pretty
disappointing, although I didn't really care for the original.
Interestingly, the biggest film in Korea in the latter half of 1998
was E J-Yong's fabulous "The Affair", an original script. Perhaps a
lesson that culturally specific works don't really work when remade.
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